Brexit impasse 'not about fish, it's about British sovereignty' claims ex-Shadow Fisheries Minister

6 December 2020, 13:48

By Seán Hickey

A former Shadow Minister insisted that the current Brexit impasse isn't entirely about fish, rather it is about British sovereignty.

Patrick Nicholls is a former Conservative MP and Shadow Fisheries Minister. He spoke to Natasha Devon as the PM and Ursula Von Der Leyen urged negotiators to reconvene to iron out 'significant differences' in Brexit talks.

One of the main reasons for talks hitting a wall is because of disagreements around fishing rights in UK waters. "It isn't just about fish, it's really about fishing communities," claimed Mr Nicholls.

"What we're saying," explained the former Shadow Minister, is that the UK should have the right to decide and determine who it allows to fish in its waters.

"It's about sovereignty," he claimed.

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Natasha wondered about the potential of the fishing industry in the UK, and asked Mr Nicholls "how much of the economy could fishing account for?"

The former Shadow Minister noted that if the fishing industry was allowed flourish post-Brexit, "it could mean that our fishing industry could be four or five times as big."

He maintained that sovereignty is key, arguing that the narrative in negotiations should be"It's your waters, we have to negotiate with you," but instead "what the French are saying is that it's your waters and we're going to fish it out, that is unacceptable."